More veg please!
Can UK farming deliver food that supports good health? As we promote the health and sustainability benefits of eating more plant-based foods, worrying new analysis by The Food Foundation suggests higher prices after Brexit will make fruit and veg unaffordable to millions of citizens.
As food prices start to rise, there are new fears that five-a-day targets for veg consumption will become unaffordable for millions after Brexit. New analysis from the Food Foundation towards post-Brexit scenarios for fruit and veg prices says Brits could be spending £150 more on fruit and veg a year.
The report, Farming for 5-A-Day, shows that a triple impact of exchange rates, labour costs and tariffs are likely to make it even harder for us all to get our minimum of 5-a-day, with those on a low income impacted the most. While low earning Brits already consume, on average, 1 portion less of fruit and veg each day, compared to more wealthy households but very few of us eat enough and treatment of diet-related disease is crippling the NHS.
The Food Foundation – a member of the Eating Better alliance – is calling for future government agriculture policy to benefit the nation’s health. This includes prioritising horticulture in the Government’s Agriculture Bill – scheduled for spring 2018 – and greater efforts to promote demand.
At Eating Better we agree that Government needs to ensure policies post Brexit support shifts towards healthy and sustainable food consumption and production as a priority. “Increasingly the public are recognising the benefits for their health and the health of the planet by shifting to more plant-based eating, with less and better meat consumption” says Eating Better’s Exec Director Sue Dibb. “We need to ensure that Brexit and Government policies support this transition – not undermine it.”
The Food Foundation’s Peas Please project is also encouraging food retailers, caterers and restaurant chains to pledge commitments to increase veg consumption. Companies including Lidl, Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Greggs, Mars Food, Nestle, Sodexo, BaxterStorey, Autograph Education and Simply Fresh made their pledges at a series of Veg Summits around the UK last month. The Food Foundation aims to monitor progress annually.
And in latest news Sustainable Food Cities will make Peas Please the focus for its 2018 Veg Cities campaign, initiating activities and commitments to support the veg focus throughout its 50 strong cities network.
All images by The Food Foundation, all rights reserved.